Monday Buzz: Panic NRL signings cruelling clubs

Some NRL clubs lack patience when it comes to recruitment and building for the future.

And there are some glaring examples right across the competition that stood out in the opening round.

When Jack Bird left the Cronulla Sharks, coach Shane Flanagan rushed in to sign Josh Dugan. He was paid more than $850,000 a season over four years.

When the Wests Tigers lost Mitchell Moses to the Parramatta Eels, Aaron Woods to Canterbury and James Tedesco to the Sydney Roosters they very hastily snapped up Josh Reynolds from the Bulldogs.

In fairness he's had lots of injuries but this was another multimillion-dollar deal for a player who is now in reserve grade as the club's highest-paid player.

I call these panic signings.

Clubs and coaches want a kill straight away to please the fans. Like a PR signing.

These signings create long-term salary cap problems. There are heaps of other examples.

Look at Manly and Daly Cherry-Evans. He's on $10 million for goodness sake.

They paid him outrageous money to get him to backflip on the Gold Coast Titans four years ago.

And you wonder why their roster is so poor right now. This guy is a very good halfback but not a great one. His correct price tag is probably more around the $750,000 mark.

Same with Ben Hunt at St George Illawarra. He's probably a $700,000 player, not the $1 million he's getting.

Daly Cherry-Evans was paid outrageous money to stay with the Sea Eagles. Picture: AAP
Daly Cherry-Evans was paid outrageous money to stay with the Sea Eagles. Picture: AAP

When Brisbane approached young halfback Ash Taylor, the Titans panicked and paid him $1 million a season to stay on the Gold Coast.

Again, same at the Broncos. When Anthony Milford was getting interest from rival clubs, Wayne Bennett rushed in to put him on a $1 million-a-year deal as the highest-paid Broncos player in history.

With respect to the playmaker, he's probably worth half that amount.

We saw how Cameron Munster totally outplayed him last Thursday night.

Even Kieran Foran at the Bulldogs is on $1 million. But, in fairness, he's had a horrible run with injuries.

Now back to Dugan. Again, we all witnessed his poor performance against the Newcastle Knights last Friday night. Admittedly he didn't get a great service from Shaun Johnson in his first run for the club.

The problem for Cronulla is that they are stuck with for former Origin and Kangaroo representative for another three years.

Josh Dugan struggled in the Sharks’ loss to the Knights. Picture: Getty Images
Josh Dugan struggled in the Sharks’ loss to the Knights. Picture: Getty Images

Even if offloaded to a rival club they would have to contribute $500,000 of his salary.

You almost have to pick him every week to justify the salary, even ahead of young gun and local boy Bronson Xerri.

Now compare all this to the New Zealand Warriors.

They've still have $1 million of Johnson's money in the salary cap. Their recruitment boss Peter O'Sullivan has been around forever and knows all about patience.

The money will be spent carefully and wisely when the right player becomes available.

They had a whack at Dylan Brown, the boom Parramatta Eels rookie, missed out, but didn't panic. Instead, they partnered young Adam Keighran alongside veteran Blake Green.

They're $1 million under the cap but look at how they demolished the Canterbury Bulldogs last Saturday afternoon. It's a lesson for all clubs.